Friday, November 8, 2013

Stop attacking schools for the actions of a group that 'society' has spawned

I was saddened to read an article in the Herald today that reported  that some individuals have labelled Avondale College as being insensitive to those victims of  the Roast Busters and other bad teenage behaviours. All school will have students who engage in inappropriate behaviours, many of them outside school and they can only have an 'influence' at best on out of school behaviours, even less so now, in the age of instant communication with 'others' all around the world. Yes, it is true that the actions of some students may not be addressed, simply because of the shear number of presenting issues that schools face on a daily basis. To the best of their abilities and resources, schools respond, but we often hear disgruntled parents lambasting their local school because 'issues' have not been dealt with to the level that parents require or wish for. Schools reflect society and they receive the students that homes send; often searching for a balance between the parents' rights to bring up their children with the demands that the law places on school and other institutions. If schools delve too far into what many parents see as their responsibilities, then they raise the ire of one group, then if they do not intervene on other occasions, they equally anger another group for not acting soon enough. Schools are therefore caught in the middle, every day as young people bully, put up pages on Face Book and other social media and then reap the results. It is true that many of these 'postings' go way beyond the reasonable and are instantly available to an audience that surpasses the intent of the original 'poster.' It is hard enough for schools to process what happens in school, never lone what happens outside or on the net!
If we wish to change the behaviours of young men  then we cannot leave that responsibility to the schools alone. It is too easy to lay blame on the schools of New Zealand and elsewhere. When we see the problem as one based on society as a whole and seek collaborative approaches that involve all groups and look closely at what has led to this situation, then maybe we have a chance to reverse what has gone so horribly wrong for so many young people, who are after all the parents of the future. Does that not scare you, if we leave parenting and educating to 'chance' and monetary driven policies!?

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